Monthly Archives: June 2016

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Starter Wort Canning

I’ve given the thought to canning my starter wort for a long time now and I’ve finally taken the plunge and given it a shot.  Overall the process went fairly smoothly and assuming the wort is ‘fine’ when I make starters in the future, I will repeat this adventure again with one slight modification I will detail below.

Starter Wort Ready To Pressure Cook

What moved me to finally give this a try was a link someone posted to a 2009 Drew Beechum article on the Maltose Falcons website recently and realizing that my brewing season is over for a short period (I decided to not brew much in the hot humid Houston summers) I had time to consider some other auxiliary brewing projects besides the ‘Summer of Mead’ I’m starting.  I am also lucky to have a huge but old pressure cooker that my dad gave me and my wife had all of the canning extras needed already.  Below is the equipment needed and the basic process:

Equipment:

  • Pressure Cooker
  • 1 Qt Canning Jars (Ball, Kerr, etc)
  • Lids and Rings for Jars
  • Dry Malt Extract
  • Canning Funnel (Really helpful)
  • Scale

The Basic Process:

  • Fill Jars half full with filtered water
  • Measure out 3.2 Oz or ~90g of DME and pour into each jar
  • Lightly Tighten Rings and Lids (not too tight)
  • Set Jars into Canner Using Manufacturing Instructions (Don’t set jars directly on bottom of canner)
  • Add the amount of water Pressure Cooker manufacturer recommends (I used about 28 oz)

Use Your Pressure Cooker Manufacturer Instructions but I will list my process:

  • Turn heat up to high, leave weight off of steam vent hole
  • When steam starts exiting, place weight on steam vent for 15 psig
  • Turn down heat after 1 minute the just under Medium
  • You should hear steam escape from weight maintaining 15 psig
  • Start timer for 15 minutes
  • After 15 minutes, turn off heat and let the Pressure Cooker sit for 2 hour
  • After 2 hours of cooling carefully remove 15 psig weight, should already be depressurized
  • Remove Lid and let sit overnight if you are not doing another batch or if you are doing another batch, remove jars carefully with the appropriate canning jar lifter

 

So, I did two batches, my Pressure Cooker would fit 7 one quart jars, so I did a second batch of the 5 remaining jars. For this second batch I decided that I would double the gravity of the starter wort to about 1.080 and then dilute with 900ml of boiled and cooled water when I make my starters.  This gives the ability to make 7 starter worts in one batch instead of 3.5 as you need to one quart jars at 1.040 gravity for a 1.8 – 2L starater.

So for the second batch I added 180g of DME to each jar.

 

I mentioned I would change one thing to this process above, I will just make a simple BIAB wort of 1.080, mash and then can using the same method above.  It will be cheaper and should be easier overall.  Just make 3 gallons roughly if you will be canning a 12 count case of quart jars.

Let me know if you have any experience and tips to do this easier or if you have any questions.

Starter Wort Ready To Pressure Cook

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Racking to my 1 gallon jug

Cherry Mead ’16

First, I’ve had several experiences with a few 1 gallon meads I’ve made turn out to have a burnt rubber after taste & it was obviously really bothersome to me.  I changed my plastics out thinking it was a sort of infection causing the off flavor.  I really started making sure I added extra ‘elbow grease’ in cleaning, soaking with oxy-clean longer, etc.  I still found I had this offensive flavor.  Finally I started digging around the interwebs and found that Lavlin 71B-1122 can give this horrendous flavor if left on the lees (yeast cake) too long.  I was guilty of this no doubt, sometimes going months with a yeast cake under my mead.

Laziness.  That is what was likely contributing to my burnt rubber flavors.  Figures, and appropriate.

Well, I am now going to start ramping up some 1 gallon meads, and do some experimentation plus I have a whole bunch of the ‘Narbonne’ yeast (Lavlin 71B-1122) so I will rack, and rack often to avoid this off flavor.  I’m sticking with 71B since I did have so much good luck with it in the past, just wonderful flavors for fruit fermentation’s and well, as I said, I have quite a bit of it.

Here is my 1 gallon Cherry’ish recipe:

  • 32 oz Tart Cherry Juice (no preservatives)
  • ~3 lbs Wildflower Honey
  • Balance of water to make just over 1 gallon
  • 1/2 TSP Yeast Nutrient & Yeast Energizer
  • Lavlin 71B-1122 yeast
  1. I mixed the honey, water and cherry juice at 85F to dissolve the honey
  2. Placed it in a 2 gallon bucket, added 1/3 of my initial yeast nutrient & energizer and fermented at 67F
  3. After 1 day I degassed, and added another 1/3 of my yeast nutrient & energizer
  4. After 3 days more I degassed again and added the remaining nutrient & energizer
  5. After 7 days total, I racked to a 1 gallon ‘jug’ aka ‘carboy’

I’ll likely rack this off in 1 week or when the fermentation slows way down as it already has some lees on the bottom after 18 hours, and well, I’m going to be super paranoid about preventing this god awful off flavor.